In Juneau yesterday evening we went on a whale watching tour. Oh my fucking god is all I have to say! We saw so many humpback whales! We came across a group of 3 adult whales feeding together. Apparently that does not happen very often as food can be scarce and when you need to eat a ton of small schooling fish a day you really don’t want anyone else around. We saw one who had the biggest blowhole. It spent quite a bit of time at the surface ‘breathing.’ Apparently the time they spend around Juneau is where they build up their layer of blubber for when they head back down to Hawaii – where it is warmer but not much in the way of food for whales.
We also saw a mother and baby whale. The baby really put on a show. It was jumping and breeching. Adult whales don’t usually do this in Alaska as they are trying to build up. Another interesting bit of information: mother whales swim underneath their babies so that they can bump them up to remind them to breathe. I have never seen anything so beautiful as watching those whales.
Now, I will give some commentary about life on a cruise ship as seen through my eyes:
- Everyday they change the mats in the elevators with one for each day. Just in case you forget which day of the week it is, which I could see happening.
- There is definitely a culture developed by the staff and crew. The people working in the casual food service restaurant definitely seem to have a much harder time than others. Apparently, they don’t even get a day off a week. They work very hard.
- On the 2nd day we had a Mariner Brunch. This was just for people who were repeat customers of Holland America. As we entered the dining room there was a receiving line of crew all saying some variation of ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Hello, Ma’am.”
- It was quite spooky that the concierge guy knew our names as soon as he saw us. They took a picture of us as we boarded. I have no idea how they learn and remember the names of everyone in the deluxe verandah suites.
- I have also noticed that even the door to our cabin is larger than the other staterooms.
- I am drinking very little pop. At $2 a can, I think it is too outrageous. Instead I have been drinking lots of iced tea instead. Oh, and they really do not make Shirley Temples correctly – they leave out the OJ. What is that about?
My right knee started to hurt last night. I am not sure if I should blame colitis or if it was just because I went down the gangplank twice yesterday. It was very steep. It is getting better quite quickly thankfully.
Today is my birthday! The concierges sent a cake and there is a lovely sign on my door announcing it to everyone. Yippy skippy!